T&T Red Force will begin honours for the 2016/17 West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Cricket League (PCL) at home against the Windwards Volcano on Friday, November 11.
In fact the T&T franchise will play their first three matches at home as they bid for honours that have eluded them in the longer format of the game.
Within the next week or so the players to represent this country in the series of matches will be named and they will undergo preparations for final selection. The players retained by the T&T Red Force have been working throughout the year as their contracts require and they have been doing a lot of work at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva. Training is expected to intensify over the next few weeks under Head Coach Gus Logie.
Again the season has been split into two with the first round of five matches being played up to December 22 and the league resuming on March 7, to make way for the Nagico Super50 tournament, which will be played early in the year.
After their initial meeting against the Windwards, the T&T Red Force will then oppose Barbados Pride from November 18 right here in Trinidad. They then play hosts to Leeward Islands Hurricanes the following weekend.
There first overseas game will begin on December 9, when they travel to Jamaica and they round off their pre-Christmas campaign against Guyana at the Providence Stadium from December 9.
Currently work on the NCC outfield is ongoing and this means that the first few PCL matches is likely to go to the Queen’s Park Oval. The T&T Red Force franchise is however looking at their spending and they will be hoping to get the NCC ready as quickly as possible, so that they can reduce ground renting costs.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had initially given all the franchises a three-year term to become self sufficient but this has not worked out.
The board has decided to go the extra mile and take up the cost of operating the franchises until 2021 at which time, they would all have to fund their own teams.
The WICB has taken the view that the region is currently undergoing financial constraints and as such has given the franchises further time to get their houses in order financially. The WICB had cut salaries of the senior players a couple seasons ago in order to fund the PCL, which they see as critical in getting the regional team back to the top.